Today we saw two older gentlemen, sit down in rooms next to each other, and answer questions form groups of men and women. Both run huge operations, each employing about 50000 people. They both sat in dark jackets. Only one had a hat though. The difference? Sir Paul Stephenson had resigned, Rupert Murdoch hadn’t. One was a rather famous billionaire, the knight who was Britains top policeman.
The thing which got my interest was their answer to the question. around their decisions about resigning.
In answer to the Question why have you resigned?
‘I’m not leaving because i was pushed… I’m going because I’m a leader.
Leadership is not about popularity, not about the press, not about spinning. Its about making decisions that put your organisation, your mission and the people you lead first. It’s about doing things that will make them proud of the leaders, and that’s much different from being popular with them. It about taking decisions that may be difficult and personally painful.
that’s leadership, and that’s why I’m going.’
– Have you considered resigning?
– I have not.
– Why not?
– Because I feel that people I trusted, I am not saying who, I don’t know what level, have let me down. I think they behaved disgracefully and betrayed the company and me. It is for them to pay. I think that frankly, I am the best person to clean this up.
I don’t know i can articulate what i think leadership is particularly well. But one of these answers comes pretty close to what i think it is. Unfortunately, I suspect it’s not the way of the billionaire.